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Practice : Spring 2012
col lab orative, team- oriented understandings of the work, and to establish an educational system in which faculty serve as primary mentors/guides to a ll of our students. While the Foundation Task Force wa s planning a nd implementing incremental changes, our Practice department greatly expanded its work to include design compe- titions, fac ulty-led de sign and design/build projects in the Boston area communities, as well as work in areas farther afield where students, themselves, have identified project s. At any given time, close to 200 students participate in these “Gateway” opportunities, a nd the work, the students’ learning, the engagement of faculty and the sense of purpose they provide for all involved are impressive. Students involved in Gateway proje cts appe ar to be more solidly committed to the progra ms in which they are enrolled. Finally, c onversations that took place over a period of time 2–3 years ago among Education Directors led to a commonly held list that delineated what “the BAC students will know and will be able to do.” Informed by this work, in the fall of 2009, the Provost’s Council discussed and described the successf ul BAC student, that person’s attributes and the institutional structures, s ystems and practices that supported her/his suc c ess . From this conversation, a sense of the students who have a clear c apacity for degree completion and what we need to do to solidify their success was articulated. Con sensus wa s re ached that this information cou ld b e utilized to design student- centered educ ationa l opportunities that would allow our best students to thrive a nd would support students’ progress to acquire some of the strengths they may be lacking. The Curriculum ReDesign Process The plan for re-visioning the entire curricu- lum of the BAC—all programs at both the masters and bachelors le vels — entailed se vera l steps over the course of two years: ■ Mission related le arning goals, firmly rooted in our educ ationa l intentiona lity that would lead to the BAC’s fulfilling its educ ationa l mission were defined. Thes e learning goals included the requirements of all of the accrediting bodies by which the institution is held accountable. ■ Evidenc e that students will have met these learning goals wa s identified and differentiated bet ween the undergraduate a nd graduate level s. A s in other profes - siona l educ ation programs, the bachelors level is focused on instructing students to become skilled practitioners, while the masters level, bec ause it is often re cog- nized as the highest level in a field, develops students’ abilities beyond practice skills to generate new disciplinary thinking and knowledge. ■ During the de sign phases of the project, a variety of learning formats were con sidered. These included: fa cilitated group convers ations, either online or face-to-fa ce; online learning; hybrid learning; sketch problems; travel inten- sives; experiential exercises; c ourses and more oc ca sion ally, lectures. ■ A robu st sy stem of student evaluation has been developed, and faculty will be instructed on the complexities of a s ses sing a nd guiding students. Therefore, f urther course work for faculty development will be designed. Jovial Sanon ’12, M.Arch PRACTICE 20 FEATURE] TOWARD AN INTEGRATED CURRICULUM